Launder automation & elimination of unsafe manual operations

Theme: Smelting and power

Expected Pilot Duration - 3 Months

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Challenge Summary

In the DSC Zinc plant a manual rotating launder is used to discharge jarosite slurry into bays (4 Nos.). This launder operates in a highly unsafe site operating condition. A safe automated system is required to upgrade the launder (35 m3/hr) with automatic discharge of jarosite slurry into respective bays.

Challenge Scenario

Jarosite slurry treatment is done with lime and cement in the Jarofix plant. This treatment happens in 2 stages present above the launder. Four retention bays at pH 10+ are used for fixation in this plant. The material flow between the bays is managed by a rotating launder that is manually operated with wire ropes by an operator. Jarofix operators fix wire rope in the loader bucket, and the launder supports the rotation from one bay to another. The bay rotation frequency is usually once every four hours, depending on the filling level of the bays.

Currently an operator uses payloader & wire rope to manually control the rotation of the launder. The current manual operation for changeover of discharge bays is dangerous and unsafe, therefore posing risk of accidents to the workforce. Due to manual operation, there is a spillage in the area and production loss. The spillage further leads to jamming the rollers responsible for rotation of the launder. An automated system is required to discharge the jarosite slurry flow from the rotating launder to reduce risks and increase efficiency of discharge.

The technical specification are as follows:

  • Launder capacity: 35 m3/ hr of jarosite slurry.
  • Jarosite Slurry composition & properties:
    W/Zn 0.20%
    T/Zn 2.7%
    Pb 2.5-3.0 %
    Fe 25%
    pH >10.5
  • Volume of each bay (4 nos): L x H x B : 8*4*10 = 320 m3 each
  • Launder height: 3 Meters
  • Filled Height for bay discharge changeover: 2 Meters
  • Approx. time between changeover: 4 hrs
  • Life of launder: in use since 2010

Profile of the end users

Jarofix operator

Responsible for maintaining & cleaning the bay area on a shift basis and reporting to the shift In charge of any abnormalities.

Area in charge

Responsible for supporting the smooth operation of the rotating launder.

Solution Requirements

Automate the slurry handling and rotation between bays by the rotating launder

Automated lubrication and protective system for bottom rollers

Stop slurry leakage & spillage during bay-changeovers by the rotating launder

Automated lubrication system

Safety monitoring system

Automation of launder rotation with increased operational safety and

Reduction of risks of production losses/downtime

Covered protection & Automated Lubrication system of bottom support rollers

System needs to be in continuous operation, any deployments or adjustments need to be completed in the allocated four hour window between each bay rotation.

Unsafe operations in difficult environmental conditions. Safety precautions must be taken to deploy the solution.

Can be only upgraded during monthly shutdown of the plant: max 12 hours. The vendor is required to supply and ensure advanced readiness for execution.

Expected Outcomes

1. Quantified Metrics & Outcomes:
Operational KPIs/Metrics Current Value (hours) Target Value (Expected - in hours)
Payloader usage (Hours of payloader usage) 547.5 0
Manpower to clean slurry leakage (Hours of manpower) 1095 0
2. Qualified Outcomes:
Current State Target State (Expected)
Safety Elimination of unsafe operations
3.  ESG Impact:
ESG Metrics Expected Value/State
Safety Improved work safety atmosphere

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